Says U.S. Policy Toward Cuba Hurts Both Economies
WASHINGTON — Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), Chairman of the House Rules Committee, Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, and a leading voice on improving relations between the United States and Cuba, has concluded a five-day congressional delegation to Havana.
Joining McGovern on the trip last week was Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). While in Cuba, McGovern and DeLauro met with U.S. Embassy and Cuban officials and attended meetings with leaders from the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio) and the New England Council, who sponsored a separate delegation of business, academic, and medical leaders to explore opportunities for mutually beneficial economic development, biotechnology research partnerships, and trade.
“For over five decades, America’s economic blockade against Cuba has been a failure,” said McGovern. “Not only does it hurt the Cuban people, it hurts America, too. There are lifesaving medicines that have been developed and produced in Cuba that are not available here because of our embargo. Our businesses want to trade with Cuba, but they can’t because of our sanctions. And the American people are the best ambassadors our country has to offer, yet they have to jump through hoops to travel to Cuba.
“Here’s the bottom line — Beijing and Moscow are already working to deepen their partnership and economic support for Havana. The United States needs to be engaged in the world. Where and when we are not, China and Russia will be. And to the extent that we disagree with the Cuban government on economic issues and human rights, diplomacy and communication are the solution.
“That is why we traveled to Cuba — to build upon President Obama’s constructive dialogue between our countries and extend a hand of friendship to the Cuban people. During our trip, we met with Cuban entrepreneurs and biotechnology researchers, alongside with their American counterparts, to discuss opportunities for collaboration and investment.
“Lifting the embargo is supported by a majority of the American people – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. It would encourage reform in Cuba, spur job growth and economic development in both our countries, and increase the safety and security of our hemisphere. I will continue to fight for a policy towards Cuba that makes sense and promotes a better future for both of our countries.”